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Effect on prostatic growth of 2-difluoromethylornithine, an effective inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase.

  • C Danzin
  • N Claverie
  • J Wagner
  • J Grove
  • J Koch-Weser
Publication Date
Jan 15, 1982
  • Biology


2-Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an enzyme-activated irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, causes marked changes in the polyamine metabolism of ventral prostate when given to adult rats in drinking water (20 g/l) for 3 consecutive days. A 90% inhibition of ornithine decarboxylase activity is accompanied by approx. 80% decreases of the concentrations of putrescine and spermidine and by a 36% decrease in spermine. Concomitantly, S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase activity increases 7-fold and the concentration of decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine 450-fold. When DFMO is given to immature rats for 12 consecutive days the above described changes are accompanied by a marked reduction in the age-dependent increases of the wet weight and RNA and DNA contents of the ventral prostate. In adult rats DFMO decreases the weight and RNA content of the ventral prostate within 4 days by 32% and 24% respectively and maintains them constant for the next 19 days. After 23 days of treatment, the prostatic weight is 46% of that of control animals of the same age, whereas the weights of other organs are only slightly decreased. Cytological studies carried out at this time show that DFMO reduces the size of both prostatic acini and the epithelial cells lining the acini.

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